At Sea

After leaving Vancouver behind, we saw lots of water. Sometimes the water became a bit rough and spashed over the front hull. This caused the majority of passengers to become a bit queasy or tired (or both).
The faculty had a bridge tour, where an officer explained how the S.S. Universe Explorer really worked.
Our family "adopted" some college students. Here is the original adoptive family (which grew later): Chrissy DiPaolo (U. of Pittsburgh), Sarah Doerfler (Kansas State U), Lindsay Diefenderfer (U of Washington), and Danielle Odan (Arizona State U).
There were days with exciting images nearby. One example is the front row but hazy view we had of Alaska's Aleutian Islands off the starboard side that surprised us one morning half way to Japan.
One night between Vancouver and Kobe, there was a beautiful full moon that reflected off the endless water
And the night before getting to Kobe, there were no clouds, giving us a great view of the moon's craters! (The Sony's got a pretty good zoom, even if I used a few notches of digital zoom!)
Of course, with beautiful, warm nights come deck parties complete with a make-shift, but well-liked, rock band. By sheer coincidence, two of my four students in my course "Human-Computer Interaction" perform in the band: Galen Hollins and Sailesh Katara.
There is a lot of work to be done on the ship, even for the pre-college crowd. This is the "Kids' Core" that Prof. Deborah Byrnes created and ran during the at sea days, to make sure that education does not just take place on shore.
As we sailed along between Japan and Hong Kong, this bird that someone said was an Albatross stayed with us for several hours, flying around slowly in large circles.
Jack Harris took this picture of me with my cameras. Some say that I look comical tangled in them. But isn't it normal to need a camcorder, a camera for print film, and a camera for slide film?
Deborah Byrnes took this photo of Daniel LeBaron, Elizabeth Kiger, and Lauren (in that order), who were successful in confusing us as to which was which!
Christy has been studying hard at sea, and one evening just before the second "Core" (World Geography) test she was particularly stressed out. We returned to our room to see this reply to mom's message on Christy's door across the hall.
On October 25, we were treated to a pair of famous dancers/musicians from Bali. One picture can capture Nyoman Sumandhi's spell-binding mask and costume, but not the incredibly hypnotic movements and music. (Yes, that is a mask--his eyes didn't bug out like this picture makes it appear.)
His wife Sutiati Sumandhi was also a world-class dancer, who incorporated eye and finger movements into her dance. To our surprise and enjoyment, she was able to wiggle and flutter her middle and ring fingers between rock-solid stationary pointer and little fingers.
Kids (shown are Ian Asenjo, Lauren, and Max Von Hippel) and adults (shown is Chris Asenjo) alike were definitely spellbound by the movements, costumes, and music.
We celebrated Halloween on Oct. 26 because of our schedule in port in Chennai. Carole carved a pumpkin that was loaded on board in September!
The kids had a party, including costumes, games, and, of course, candy. Here's the gang of kids.
Lauren enjoyed her costume, acquired in Japan.
The kids were allowed to go trick-or-treating, and here's Lauren on her way to collect her treats.
The high school and college kids also dressed up. Here are Genevive LeBaron, Caitlin Harris, and Christy in their holiday attire!
I was lucky to have been trying to videotape flying fish between Chennai and Egypt, when a pack of dolphins frolicked off the starboard ("right") side of the ship. Here's a particularly high leap. I put together a 3-second animation of the leap. I apologize in advance for the size of the animation file--it's almost 200k bytes (not bits, a tenth the measure), so it will take a couple of minutes to download if Internet traffic is busy. Click on either the link above or on the picture to the right. Click here for a Real Media streaming version of the original, uncropped video I used to snag the photo at the right.
During the 100 days of our voyage, there are 3 "vacation" days called "TBA" days. The second TBA day involved student/faculty Olympics, where the students (organized into several teams by corridor--or "sea") and faculty/staff (called the "Titanic" group) all compete. One of the competitions was a tug of war, which we Titanic contestants handily won. Here we are taking the gold.
Here's one team we beat just as they were yielding. Dave Fleming is the student in the front of the student team.
Each team had a cheer. Ours spelled the word T-I-T-A-N-I-C and said "we're taking you down" at the end. Here we are doing our cheer.
We also won a medal in the lip-synching competition. Here are four brave (male) faculty members plus the ship's doctor as the Spice Girls. They are Jack Harris (Sociology), Aubrey Drury (Economics), Dave Stonington (Physician), Melvyn Thorne (Public Health), and Hsiang-Te Kung (Geography).
Also part of the Olympics was a version of Stupid Human Tricks. Here is Lauren getting a tissue using her feet.
The final picture from the Olympics shows a student dressed as a staff member. Whoever did the art work did a great job with the false faces, which were partially caricatures and partially accurate sketches.
Bright glaring ship lights and being at sea level compromised our view of the night sky. One early November early evening the lights were turned out for star gazing. The first celestial object to pop up about midway up the eastern sky was perhaps Jupiter, and zooming in seemed to reveal at least 2 moons (at about 15x optical zoom on camcorder, taken later at night).
After the entire shipboard community's photo session, 7 students formed the letters SAS at the bottom of the empty pool. From left to right, top to bottom were Rob Fannon, Ari Haas,Cedric Dark, Meegan LeMott (the horizontal one in the "A"), Martine Etschmaier (the right side of the "A"), Annie Richards, and Stephanie Bowers.
Just before reaching Egypt, there was a "show" especially for the kids. Professor Phil Smith (English) is shown playing his guitar and singing songs. Yes, the kids have shorts on. This is unfortunate framing at its best! (Worst?)
Between Egypt and Turkey, the entire shipboard community posed on the pool deck. Here is half of the group while it was being formed. The camcorder doesn't have enough of a wide angle to get it all!
Birthday parties come and go while on board, and Sopahn, held by Miranda Hansen, is entertained by Karen Burns, who has put on her new hat!
One morning, I saw an aerobics group braving some chilly and cloudy weather, led by our "adoptee" Michelle Kerulis. Laurie, it reminded me that I am not keeping up with my aerobics class. Are you?
Well, we missed Thanksgiving with the family. But we celebrated two days early while on ship with our enlarged "adoptive" family. The small size of the people reflects the size of the group! Click for a larger version with full names. Sorry, but the dim lighting makes the picture fuzzy. Clockwise from the bottom left are: me, Michele, Julie & Simon, D'one, Chrissy, Troy, Christy, Carole, Sarah, Gina, Lauren, Nici, Lindsey, Kelly, and Danielle.
On the day after Thanksgiving, we decorated the girls' door with our version of a Christmas tree. This is one of the days that we really miss decorating our tree in our living room then driving to Grandma's (my mom's) house for early dinner and then to Mikie (Carole's sister) & Larry's for a later dinner! Two dinners? Yep!
Nyoman Sumandhi and Bob Brown arranged a gamelan lesson for the kids.
Carole and Deborah tested the knowledge of the children in a game of Jeopardy, where the kids did pretty well against the college crowd!
Who won? It doesn't matter; all were good sports and had a great time.
The kids had a Christmas party on December 6, which we think is the Feast of St. Nick. Here are Sopahn, Marvel, and Daniel doing fingerpainting.
The rest of the kids had fun with their own fingerpainting, too.
Early in the trip, someone tried to keep at least part of the ship quiet for the young kids staying with families. Here is a sign that we saw daily for the 14 weeks.
Classrooms aren't devoid of teaching materials, but they aren't opulent, either. The result is a comfortable, appropriate setting for education at sea. The windows to the sea on the left are a tremendous psychological asset to both students and instructor.
Although there weren't clergy to serve everyone, there was a Christian Fellowship group that was led by Brigitta Alkofer (staff advisor), Megan Merrill, Leah Rahe, Meredith Lips, Laura Gibson, and Lora Grissen.

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Photos copyright 1999, Dennis F. Galletta